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Opinion
Jonathan Bernstein

Lobbyists Are People, Too

Barack Obama's lobbyist ban is basically just a publicity stunt that has no positive effect but makes the president’s job harder. 
Protecting the White House from lobbyists is really unnecessary.
Protecting the White House from lobbyists is really unnecessary.

How about one cheer -- no, let's make that maybe one-tenth of a cheer -- for a partial reversal (details from Politico's Byron Tau) of one of President Barack Obama's worst ideas: his ban on lobbyists in the administration.

It's a bad idea because "lobbyists" are not, in fact, some sort of universally evil group. They're simply advocates for various interests, some of which are aligned with the Democratic Party. It makes no sense for a Democratic president to refuse to hire, say, someone who lobbied against polluters or for tough civil-rights measures.